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  • Slipped Discs November 2013

    Discs You May Have Missed
    by John Noyd

    Clara Hill

    Clara Hill

    Initial Thoughts

    Compacting vast galaxies, late fall albums tie up their titles in tidy little bundles. From succinct synth-mistress, LAUREL HALO’s hissing liquid conniptions squished in her wonderfully unpredictable, “Chance of Rain,” to lofty modern-pop prophet CLARA HILL’s soft, glossy impossibilities romancing heavenly narcolepsy with the inestimable, “Walk The Distance” and delectable psychedelic fuzz-metal peddlers BARDO POND’s maelstrom-mired, banshee-inspired, tunnel-vision collisions, “Peace on Venus,” three words sum up volumes of blossoming awesomeness.


    Disc Reviews


    Anoushka Shankar - Traces of You

    Anoushka Shankar - Traces of You

    Anoushka Shankar

    Album title: Traces of You
    Record Label: Deusche Grammophon

    Poised between soothing tranquility and restless beckoning, “Traces,” blazes with feathery dexterity; each piece featuring discrete treats that swiftly shift from soothing dove-tailed duels to ravenous flocks of rapid chops. Speeding, pleading, weeping and creeping, Shankar’s sensuous sitar extracts dazzling magic traveling effortlessly from enchanted world-pop revisions to classical Indian traditions slithering past elegant piano, electronic beats and feverish percussion.

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    Sun Glitters - Scattered into Light

    Sun Glitters - Scattered into Light

    Sun Glitters

    Album title: Scattered into Light
    Record Label: Mush Records

    Suffused in translucent muses dodging foggy clockwork angels, SG’s wobbly cauldrons dabble in pastel palpitations dispensing tasty sips of record-skipping glitch gurgling in wordless wisps and hard-wired trips. Sparkly marvels washed in luminous lubricants where breezy machinery drop weightless anchors into sun-soaked oceans, “Scattered,” masters a diaphanous techno-tapestry; vaporous diva-bleached draperies trimmed in wriggling symmetry and stuffed with clattering imaginations.

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    Maria Taylor - Something about Knowing

    Maria Taylor - Something about Knowing

    Maria Taylor

    Album title: Something about Knowing
    Record Label: Saddle Creek

    Sultry magnolia vocals spawning hush haunted thoughtfulness, “Knowing,” bestows its lush lullaby sighs inside wise replies, caressing confessions and nurturing purrs. A sweet dreamy folk-pop filly filling aching hearts with cantering kindnesses, Taylor sails through life’s twists and turns riding gallivanting melodies into heavy-lidded bliss; lovingly tumbling over frolicking alt-rock trysts armed with self-assured charm, harmonious balms and sizzling riffs.

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    Wooden Shjips - Back to Land

    Wooden Shjips - Back to Land

    Wooden Shjips

    Album title: Back to Land
    Record Label: Thrill Jockey

    Blues-based jail-breaks grind out laid-back attacks against hallucinogenic epidemics as San Francisco’s WS barrel past sturdy curves; casually balancing surging organ, bobbing bass and gnarled guitar for ultra-groovy moodiness whose shady serenades produce sand-blasted ballads from interstellar cellars. Shrouded in clouded visions and swirling jams, “Land,” sandwiches droning momentum inside neuron-firing solos eliciting electric surf-rock mojo from shocking gothic soul.

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    Starnes&Shah - Shilling for Dreamtown

    Starnes&Shah - Shilling for Dreamtown

    Starnes&Shah

    Album title: Shilling for Dreamtown
    Record Label: self-release

    As a Texas choir-girl and a Lebanese poet, S&S’s strong songs conjure neither Middle Eastern seasonings nor wild Western directions. Pairing handsome harmonies to robust hooks, “Shilling,” tingles with direct, yet sophisticated flavors, solid soft-rock confidence polished in spotless frosting. Bouncing in limber rhythms and elastic happiness, the duo’s fourth full-length hand-delivers swooping Moogs, block-buster busking and tightly-wrought autobiographical subplots.

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    Gap Dream - Shine your Light

    Gap Dream - Shine your Light

    Gap Dream

    Album title: Shine your Light
    Record Label: Burger Records

    Thick swishy bedroom-pop steeped in dazed paisley rooted to cruising youthfulness and bite-sized insights, “Shine,” redesigns precocious emotions with savvy slacker daggers. Dead-pan anthems rinsed in phat aquatic synths and goose-step drums, GD’s moon-beam chemistry mashes plastic acid-rock with dark disco manifestos, a massaged hard-drive mirage luring Beach Boy vampires and stiff upper lip hipsters into surreal cotton candy melt-downs.

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    Final Thoughts

    Going places? From Delta-blues innovator BROTHER DEGE’s steely, free-wheeling masterpiece ” How To Kill A Horse,” to Australia’s post-rock pontiff MICK TURNER’s sprawling kitchen-sink symphonies, “Don’t Tell the Driver,” November albums are all over the map. Jump aboard spicy Middle Eastern expatriates SALAAM’s colorful Kasbah instrumentals, “Train to Basra and Other Stories.” then conquer swinging Toronto collective FIRST RATE PEOPLE’s jubilant, electro-tinged, “Everest,” before descending into Bavarian cyber-swami RECONDITE’s no man’s land of ephemeral emeralds, “Hinterland,” or riding Wisconsin’s own roving alt-folk bohemians BLESSED FEATHER’s pointed, “Order of the Arrow.”